Next generation of ETC’s Unison Echo offers more possibilities, protection

Date Posted: 5/8/2018

ETC’s Unison Echo®, a distributed power control system, has become even more powerful. The newest generation of Echo zone controllers and Echo software brings an impressive range of new features to meet the changing needs of installations everywhere. Enhancements include Energy Code Demand Response compliance, 0-10V control, UL 924 Emergency applications, and more. These changes add flexibility and functionality to Echo’s cost-effective package.

“Unison Echo has always excelled at delivering robust control in an economical package,” said Bryan Palmer, Architectural Market Manager for ETC. “The newest hardware and software upgrades extend these capabilities. With Echo, users can build a simple system with flexible control needs, and one that keeps everyone safe with greater integration to emergency systems, while complying with tough energy codes now and in the future.”

The Unison Echo controly system family

The new generation of Echo power controllers supports field software updates for all products – including Echo Relay Controllers, 0-10V Controllers, SmartSpace Controllers, Phase-Adaptive Dimmers and Room Controllers – ensuring future software enhancements are available. The ability to update controllers means updated control and energy code requirements can easily be supported without the need to replace hardware.

Echo’s larger controllers can handle even larger areas now, too. Echo Room Controllers benefit from a new multi-space control structure that allow each output of the Room Controller to be assigned to a unique space, or multiple zones to one space. The flexibility for a single Room Controller to control zones in multiple spaces maximizes efficiency and reduces hardware needs for small systems.

With Echo, emergency lighting is easy to implement at any budget. The addition of a UL 924 Sense Feed input for triggering control bypass adds significant emergency lighting control functionality at no additional cost. In fact, integrated normal power sensing eliminates the need for an external Emergency Bypass Detection Kit (EBDK) for many applications, reducing system cost and simplifying installation.

Room Controllers also support a Demand Response contact closure to shed unnecessary load based on power company needs during times of high energy usage. This Demand Response state is shared across the EchoConnect control bus, allowing zone controllers to participate in the energy reduction preset. For systems that do not utilize Room Controllers, an Echo Demand Response Interface is also available to accept the contact closure and share status.

With the use of non-isolated 0-10V drivers growing, ETC is doubling down on our commitment to product quality. Non-isolated drivers can result in unexpected line voltage on the 0-10V control lines that can damage electronics. The updated Room and Zone Controllers provide the same line voltage isolation found in our new Unison Foundry products for each control output. This isolation protects equipment from mains voltage leaks so that equipment can be prepared for any 0-10V driver in the field.

A final update to the controls allows the Echo Lockout station to be programmed for any button function or as a station lockout. Programming is done using the updated EchoAccess configuration App. The new version of the App also provides additional system examples when used in Demo mode.

“Echo is a great system because it’s a simple platform that accomplishes so much,” concludes Palmer. “This generation of hardware and software not only improves the system now, but also gives users a system that will only improve and grow more capable over time.”